Tigers vs. Twins MLB Best Bet: Quiet Bats in Minnesota

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Louie Varland #37 of the Minnesota Twins pitches in the first inning during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 15, 2024. All players are wearing the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. Mitchell Layton/Getty Images/AFP

We have an extra big card on Sunday with 16 Major League Baseball matchups due to a makeup doubleheader between the Mariners and Rockies. After going 3-0 on Friday, we are back with our three plays for the day that we feel hold the most betting value according to the current MLB odds at the top-rated sportsbooks.

These picks are mostly based on our proprietary model. Our day begins relatively early at 2:10 PM ET, as our model likes a total in the Tigers vs. Twins matchup.

If you want more analysis, check out our MLB best bets for the following matchups:

MLB Best Bet: Under 8 (-110) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

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Under 8 (-110)
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Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins

Sunday, April 21, 2024 – 02:10 PM ET at Target Field

We think Louie Varland of the Twins is a better pitcher than his 8.36 ERA. And with the promising Casey Mize going for the Tigers, we are betting on the Under in Minnesota.

xFIP Belies the ERA

Varland enters with ugly surface stats at 0-3 with that 8.36 ERA. However, he has been extremely unlucky as indicated by the wild variance between that ugly ERA and his good 3.62 xFIP. And when we say “unlucky”, we mean Sabermetrically as Louie has been victimized by an ungodly .422 BABIP allowed and a low 65.2% strand rate.

His underlying metrics are fine, especially with his average velocity of 96.2 MPH being at the highest point of his 3-year Major League career. He has also improved his groundball rate to 46.0%, so the ERA should converge downward, toward the xFIP as the luck stats normalize.

It also helps here that he is facing a Tigers offense ranked 21st in wRC+ against right-handed pitching at 90 (10% below average).

Facing Worse Offense

Mize was the first overall pick by the Tigers in the 2018 draft, but after breaking out with a 3.71 ERA in 2021, he suffered an elbow injury in 2022. He then underwent Tommy John surgery and missed all of last year. However, his first three starts this comeback season have been promising and the Tigers have not announced any innings restrictions.

Casey has a 4.11 ERA but a better 3.80 xFIP with 12 strikeouts against only three walks. But the best news of all is, as oftentimes happens after Tommy John, his velocity has improved quite a bit post-surgery. His average velocity so far is 95.7 MPH, which blows away his career high of 94.1 MPH during his best season of 2021.

MLB Best Bet

Also, Mize is facing a Twins offense that has been even worse than the Tigers in wRC+ against righties, ranking 29th out of 30 MLB teams at 75.

So, with two offenses struggling against right-handers and two promising starting pitchers, back the Under on Sunday.

Predicted Score: Twins 4 – Tigers 2

MLB Best Bet: Under 8 (-110) at Bookmaker

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Under 8 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.